Saturday, December 29, 2007

Not much new I am afraid

According to the site metre, less and less of you are coming to visit. That could be because a lot of you are on holiday for Christmas and New Year.

But it may be because I just keep re-posting the same old posts.

I am sorry. However, it is hard to come up with anything new to say about this subject. I have written more words on this subject than anybody else on the internet, but it is still rare when I come up with anything new.

20 comments:

Andrew said...

Does sitemeter count people who read your posts via an RSS reader? I always read your posts but don't always visit the actual blog!

Blessings,
Andrew

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I am very thnakful you do read them.

Probably they dont count on it. At least judging by the fact I never see you on it.

Anonymous said...

A article in today's Sacramento Bee newspaper piqued my interest in this topic. After reading an exhaustive forum from 2006 on this subject (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/good-questions/good-questions-is-shoes-off-at-a-party-proper-006082), I thought I might share my views:

The obligation of a good host is to be hospitable. Hospitality involves making people feel at home. Reading the aforementioned forum clearly demonstrated that, for some, feeling at home entails being shoeless; for others, it entails wearing shoes. If you can't graciously accommodate BOTH those wearing shoes AND those who are shoeless, your capacity as a host may well be impaired. (And don't judge preference based on those who haven't complained about your restriction; well-mannered guests won't voice their discontent.)

Sure, you have every right to enforce the rules of your house. You can demand that guests not sit on your furniture. You can choose to only serve them Kool Aid (ugh!). But any such restrictions will necessarily increase the likelihood that your guests will not feel at home...and that, by definition, degrades your performance as a host.

Good hosts endeavor to anticipate and accommodate the wants and needs of their guests. If your home cannot allow that because it has fragile flooring or because your children regularly lick the carpeting or because you're allergic to ubiquitous chemicals, you should either eschew the role of host, select a restaurant venue or accept that some guests will justifiably view you as inhospitable. And if it's the latter, you need to recognize that it's YOUR failure, not that of your guests.

I've learned much after reading the forum posts. As with most of my fellow Californians, I only take my shoes off when I go OUTSIDE. I've felt insulted by those who have visited my home and removed their shoes, feeling that they showed inappropriate familiarity. But now I'll try to be more tolerant. This blogger might do well to do the same.

Bob

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Bob, I posted a link to that discussion at least twice. Maybe I will do so again.

Is that your view you are expressing?

Do you not then agree with my post on Hospitality?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Is this the same Bob that usually6 posts here? I thought you kept a shoe-free home?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I am thinking it is, because I do not think the usual Bob is from California and does not usually leave a space between his comments and his name.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Well, anyway Bob, from California, thanks for visiting.

If you visit the link I posted in that earlier comment, you can read why I disagree with your take on hospitality.

Anonymous said...

Interesting site you have here and the no shoes rule is certainly a great conversation starter. My husband and I live in the USA and we have two small children - ages 5 and 2. When we first bought our home a few years back, we adopted the no shoes - never ever - rule.
We asked all who entered to leave the shoes in a designated place right inside the front door. Our house is a raised ranch style and we we've had a few problems over the years. Some people think it's okay to wear shoes on our stairs. My parents were our worst offenders at first. I teach private piano lessons and most have been okay. For those parents who may refuse, I just point to the bench by the front door and tell them they can sit there and not come upstairs into the house. Some parents think that I just mean their kids when I say shoes off. Like kids' shoes are dirtier than adults' shoes. I've also taught piano lessons in some homes and most have been no shoes homes. I always ask the person before I enter their home what their rule is. If they say yes take them off, I do. If they say, whatever you want, I usually take them off. If they say we wear them, I'll leave them on but let them know that we don't in my house so it won't be a surprise when they visit me.
It does keep your house cleaner but when you think about it, what could be on the soles of shoes is really disgusting. My husband and I went to aprty a few years back and of course everyone wore their shoes. I felt so bad as the hostess had beautiful rugs and the night was rainy. Anyway, as we were being given atour of her lovely home, I noticed an awful smell. So did my husband. We tracked it to my shoes - yep, doggie poo. I went into the bathroom and tried to wash off what I could. But it was too late. As I walked through the house, I find small spots where it had come off. And I certainly wasn't going to announce this to these new people we had just met. I tried to clean waht I could but if there's a good reason not to invite shoes into your home, this is it.
I'm sorry this is so long but may I add that we have also discovered that no shoes only works as long as it is no shoes. Some shoes doesn't work. Those few may create the same situation as above.

Julie

Anonymous said...

First, in response to the question about any previous posts from me, this Bob (from the Sacramento area) hasn't posted here prior to my post on the hospitality issue.

And after reading Dyspraxic Fundamentalist's post on hospitality, I have to say that it didn't change my views on how requiring shoelessness can compromise the comfort of your guests. A host might well argue that his wine-snobbish friends will really like Two-Buck-Chuck if they just give it a chance but he/she needs to recognize that trying to impose your definition of hospitality on your guests entails a significant risk of failure.

I've been to homes where I've been asked to remove my shoes and found it to be uncomfortable, sufficiently so that I've turned down invitations for future visits. I guess you can't get a more telling reading on your hospitality than that. I didn't tell the host, just as I probably wouldn't share my dislike of a host allowing their large dogs running loose during a party (another thing that's caused me not to accept a subsequent invitation). And while I might be seen by some as simply too hard to please, I have a very active social life, typically finding my schedule to full too accommodate all of the invitations I receive.

I confess that I didn't peruse this site prior to posting my initial comment. I'll do that later today and perhaps get some additional insights...maybe even changing my views on the hospitality issue. No promises but I pride myself on having an open mind.

Anonymous said...

Whoa...too much information on this blog! Who'd have thought so much could have been said about shoes in the home???

And while I won't claim to have read EVERYTHING in the archives, I don't think you've objectively addressed an issue that many shoeless advocates bring up as a justification for their practice: cleanliness, or more specifically, the harm done by pathogens brought into the home on the bottom of shoes.

One of the shoe sole contaminants frequently referenced is urine and I have to believe that most folks are unaware that urine (be it human, dog, whatever) is sterile, i.e., it contains NO germs or bacteria of any kind (except in the relatively rare instance when an individual has a urinary tract infection). No that doesn't mean I'd invite folks to pee on my carpets but I'm not likely to contract a disease from the urine tracked in from the street or a public restroom.

And can your home be TOO clean for your children? I suspect that many of your readers were thankfully spared the polio epidemic of the 40's and 50's. Most of the victims were children and researchers found that a disproportionate number were the children of physicians. They now believe that these children's immune systems may have been compromised by being raised in a home that was TOO antiseptic, preventing their immune systems from developing the ability to protect them from polio. And while polio has all but been eradicated, researchers believe that a similar situation may be developing with MS, allergies and other diseases of the immune system.

And a last issue for germophobes to consider is whether their paranoia might be more appropriately directed toward something other than the soles of visitors' shoes. A recent study on the relative concentration of germs on public restroom surfaces found a surprising result: there are typically more germs/square inch on an office worker's desk than on a toilet seat in a public restroom. I haven't seen any studies on how shoe soles compare to hands but I'd bet that hands typically have more germs/square inch. Because hand generate both warmth and moisture, they create a better environment for the survival of germs. Oops, now I've done it; those mysophobes will be asking me to wear booties AND gloves when I come to visit!

Sacramento Bob

Anonymous said...

Matthew...I am glad the issue of which Bob posted the presious comments has been cleared up. You are 100% correct we do have a shoeless home and prefer it for a host of reasons. To avoid confusion in the future I will sign as SHOELESS BOB!!!!
Happy New Year
Shoeless Bob
PS..perhaps Julie would care to comment on an exchange we had on your December 19th blog..."removing shoes at parties"

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Wow. A lot going on.

Julie, thanks so much for visiting.

Do come back. I would repeat Shoeless Bob's request about commenting on that post.

It is this one.

"I'm sorry this is so long but may I add that we have also discovered that no shoes only works as long as it is no shoes."

Yes, you need to be consistent.

There is not much point of requiring shoes off from family if you let visitors in with shoes on.

God Bless

Matthew

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Shoeless Bob (from North Carolina?) I was a bit confused for a while.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Bob from California, thanks for visiting again and for leaving comments.

I do welcome comments on this blog.

"A host might well argue that his wine-snobbish friends will really like Two-Buck-Chuck if they just give it a chance but he/she needs to recognize that trying to impose your definition of hospitality on your guests entails a significant risk of failure."

Interesting comparison.

You will gather I am a fundamentalist Christian. While I drink alcohol myself, I might know more people than average that are teetotal. I also know a few former alcoholics who will not want a bottle of wine on their table ever.

A lot of people will expect to have a nice glass of wine when they have a meal with friends. But they have to realise that not everybody will serve wine in their house for different reasons.

Likewise, while some people will want to keep their shoes on at a party, they are increasingly going to find that this is not always encouraged.

I hosted a party a few months ago and requested shoes off on the invitation. Everybody who came had a good time. They came with the expectation that they would have to remove their shoes.

"I've been to homes where I've been asked to remove my shoes and found it to be uncomfortable, sufficiently so that I've turned down invitations for future visits."

That is your choice and I think we all make choices like this. Most people are very rational in their social life making choices according to their different desires and needs.

"One of the shoe sole contaminants frequently referenced is urine and I have to believe that most folks are unaware that urine (be it human, dog, whatever) is sterile, i.e., it contains NO germs or bacteria of any kind (except in the relatively rare instance when an individual has a urinary tract infection). No that doesn't mean I'd invite folks to pee on my carpets but I'm not likely to contract a disease from the urine tracked in from the street or a public restroom."

I am afraid my knowledge of science is not extensive. I find it difficult to comment on this.

I am sure it cant be healthy for children to play on the floor that has been soiled by urine or excrement.

"And can your home be TOO clean for your children?"

There is some evidence for the hygeine hypothesis.

I am sure it is good for children to be exposed to some germs. But not too much, their immune systems are not as advanced as adults. But I had better not be too dogmatic about this, not being an expert.

The people who rune child care places do seem prety concerned about cleanliness in general, though.

You do need to distinguish between dirt and certain kinds of dirt.

Dirt is not always unhealthy.

However, dog exrement is very unhealthy.

Certain chemicals such as paint and solvents are unhealthy.

A lot of dust can be unhealthy.

You may not believe me, but I am not a germaphobe. But I do like to live in a clean environment and I think parents should be concerned about what comes into contact with their children.

God Bless

Matthew

Anonymous said...

Matthew...glad that the confusion has been cleared up!!..and yes, my wife and I do live in North Carolina
Shoeless Bob

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

From what I have heard, shoes-off homes are a lot less common in southern than in northern states.

Would you agree with that?

Anonymous said...

Matthew, your assumption is correct. My wife and I are originally from the northeast where shoeless homes are more common. We have a neighbor who works for the Healthy Homes Division of HUD, A US Government Agency, and the first day she came to introduce herself she left her shoes at the door without any comment from us. The first time my wife went to her home, she answered the door shoeless and my wife automatically removed her shoes. We have never discussed it and have always removed our shoes in each others home. A new neighbor recently came over and when my wife answered in her usual shoeless state the neighbor asked if she should take off her shoes. Perhaps it is becoming more common here in the south or people are just more attuned to abiding by the rules of the home without making an issue out of it. I have never encountered anyone who has refused to comply with our wishes or has not accepted a repeat invitation.
Shoeless Bob

Anonymous said...

Matthew, I reviewed a bit more of your site and much of the comment has been, predictably, from supporters of a shoeless house. I'm now more appreciative of the reasons people make this choice, although 1) I don't happen to subscribe to them and 2) some appear to be based on misinformation. In any case, as stated in my first post, I think I can afford to be more tolerant of the practice but will continue to avoid visiting such households simply, primarily I find it uncomfortable to be shoeless in other's homes.

And that brings me to the subject of this post. Your site appropriately has a point of view (i.e., support of shoeless homes) but in selling this position, I think you've omitted and/or misrepresented the positions of those of us who prefer wearing shoes in the home. That may be defensible, given the objective of your site. And most of your visitors (who predominantly support your position) would hardly object. But you shoeless folks might well benefit from a more thorough understanding of "those shoe people" just as I've benefited from learning more about you.

I read your list of 37 reasons why one shouldn't wear shoes in the home. Would you be willing to wade through some reasons why people might actually WANT to keep their shoes on? If so, I'll post my list for you.

Sacramento Bob

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Shoeless Bob, I am glad to hear shoeless homes are becoming more common in the south.

In some ways, I think the north of England is more like your south; more traditional and less cosmopolitan (though I am going by reputation, having never been to the American south). From what I have heard shoeless homes are less common in the British north.

By the way, you dont have to sign in as anonymous; you can post as your nickname by clicking on that option and filling in the box.

God Bless

Matthew

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sacramento Bob, I am very glad you took the trouble to read some posts.

Your comments are very welcome here.

As you point out, most of those who comment are shoes-off people. There has not been a lot of debate.

"I think you've omitted and/or misrepresented the positions of those of us who prefer wearing shoes in the home."

Thanks for your assesment.

I get involved in a lot of other blogs debating between different schools of Christian theology. Each side always accuse the other of misrepresenting their position. I think it is something that we can easily do when we are keen to defend our views.

Though I was incredibly amused when somebody in a discussion forum described me as a "Freedom-hating Shoe-removal Nazi."

God Bless

Matthew